Are Folding Stocks Legal?


Folding stocks provide an efficient means of keeping rifles small when not in use and are an ideal option for use when traveling or transporting vehicles and ATVs.

Close-protection teams who need their weapons deployed quickly may also benefit from choosing submachine guns as an easy, fast solution. Unfortunately, their use can be problematic without prior training.

1. Are they legal in California?

Providing that your rifle already meets federal guidelines for OAL and barrel length, switching out for one with folding stock should be legal; however, you should still check local and state laws as these may impose additional requirements.

If you own a pre-ban gun and add a folding stock, the stock needs to be secured so it cannot move. Most people do this using a roll pin or screw. However, some individuals have taken to simply leaving it as is and not bothering to pin it based on a past Federal Letter that said as long as tools can restore collapsible or folding configuration, all is good.

But if the stock belongs to a semi-automatic shotgun, there may be additional considerations to take into account. California law prohibits the manufacture, sale, and possession of semi-automatic centerfire guns with folding or pistol grip stocks capable of holding more than 12 shotgun shells – known as the Category Two assault weapons ban.

This ban covers most variations of the AK-47 and AR-15 rifles, as well as their minor variants, but exempts some minor ones. Furthermore, state law also bans features like pistol grips or forward pistol-style sights that aren’t required to function the gun, such as pistol grips and forward pistol-style sights that don’t contribute directly to functional firearm operation. Finally, state laws ban certain accessories, such as grenade/flare launchers under barrel attachments on rifles.

The addition of a pistol grip or folding stock could convert an otherwise non-Category Two assault weapon into a Category One weapon, necessitating registration, taxation, and possible prosecution under California felony firearm law. But registered California gun owners who surrender an unregistered Category One assault weapon to law enforcement authorities will avoid prosecution; that’s why it’s crucial to know your local laws prior to purchasing guns and making modifications.

3. Are they legal in Pennsylvania?

Pennsylvania is a “Shall Issue” state, meaning no permit or other approval is needed to own or purchase firearms there. Furthermore, Pennsylvania imposes few significant restrictions on guns, ammunition, or parts, though there are some exceptions; for instance, telescoping stocks on AR-15-style firearms may not be legal in Pennsylvania.

State law does not permit adding any device that turns a semiautomatic weapon into fully automatic fire, such as the so-called bump stocks used during last year’s Las Vegas shooting. Legislation to ban such devices as well as limit their capacity to 10 rounds is currently being considered by lawmakers in Nevada.

Furthermore, Florida does not recognize out-of-state permits or licenses for carrying handguns and does not permit transport of short-barreled rifles or shotguns without first being registered under the National Firearms Act, as they may be considered offensive weapons by local laws. Before making modifications or purchases, it is always wise to consult local laws first.

4. Are they legal in New York?

New York does not yet ban bump stocks – an alleged mod used by Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock to increase the rate at which his semi-automatic rifle fired – but certain rifles and shotguns from being classified as assault weapons under its SAFE Act of 2013. For instance, those modified with features that make weapons look more like assault weapons, such as pistol grips, folding stocks, or bayonet lugs, may not qualify as assault weapons under this act.

New York requires that anyone wanting to own a rifle, shotgun, or semiautomatic pistol must first obtain a valid firearms permit – good for one year with a background check and interview by local law enforcement personnel as necessary.

Under New York state law, high-capacity magazines containing more than ten rounds are prohibited; however, military members stationed there may bring standard capacity magazines into their units for use.

New York law mandates that in addition to possessing a valid firearms permit, you must also be at least 18 years old in order to own or possess rifles or shotguns. If you are younger than 18, an adult must supervise your handling of a weapon.

Criminal Possession of a Rapid-Fire Modification in New York is considered a misdemeanor and could result in up to one year in jail. An experienced and knowledgeable defense lawyer could potentially get your charges reduced or dismissed altogether.